Melina Marchetta (born 25 March 1965) is an Australian YA author best known for her debut novel Looking for Alibrandi, which is taught in classrooms around Australia and made into a major motion picture starring Pia Miranda, Greta Scacchi and Anthony La Paglia. All of her works have won numerous awards and she is currently working on a screenplay for Jellicoe Road.
Her works include:
- Looking for Alibrandi (1992)
- (Screenplay 2000)
- Saving Francesca (2003)
- Jellicoe Road (American version called On the Jellicoe Road) (2006)
- (Screenplay 2011)
- The Lumatere Chronicles
- Finnikin of the Rock (2008)
- Froi of the Exiles (2011)
- Quintana of Charyn (2012)
- The Piper's Son (2010), a follow-up to Saving Francesca, focusing on a different character.
- The Gorgon in the Gully (for middle school age readers)
Other works by Melina Marchetta provide examples of the following tropes:
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Tara Finke and Tom in Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son.Francesca: That night of my birthday party, I thought I saw something happening between you two.(shocked gasps and exclamations from others)Tara Finke: Can I remind everyone the day after that event Francesca schized out, so let's presume she was imagining things.
- This is also a feature of several relationships in the Lumatere Chronicles.
- Bittersweet Ending: Looking For Alibrandi and On The Jellicoe Road both end with someone's death.
- Finnikin of the Rock also counts.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The Piper's Son also falls under the 'late bloomer subversion'.
- Creator Thumbprint: Italians. Expect many, many Italians.
- Disappeared Dad: Looking For Alibrandi (part of the plot deals with the dad coming back), On The Jellicoe Road (he turns out to be dead), Finnikin of the Rock (he starts off the book in jail but ends the book with his son), and The Piper's Son (part of Tom's issue is his dad disappearing and reappearing during the book).
- Driven to Suicide: Happens in Looking For Alibrandi and several times in On The Jellicoe Road.
- Dysfunctional Family: Most families flip-flop between this and Quirky Household.
- Friendship Moment
- Full-Name Basis: Tara Finke (Tom usually adds psycho to it too).Anabel (Tom's sister): It's what you used to call her. I used to think psycho was some Japanese name, like Seiko-Tara.
- There Are No Therapists: Saving Francesca and On The Jellicoe Road
- True Companions: Except for Looking For Alibrandi, each book focuses on building and/or maintaining these. On The Jellicoe Road had two groups.
- Twice Shy: In The Piper's Son with Ben and Justine. Tom...breaks the ice for them.
- Write What You Know: Marchetta was quite young when she wrote Looking for Alibrandi, and was a High School teacher when writing the others. She's also of Italian descent, which pops up in her first two novels, Looking For Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.